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March 5, 2010

Twitter's mysterious 10 billionth tweet

Posted: 12:49 PM ET

Twitter hit a major milestone late Thursday – when someone hit the “update” button on the networking site’s 10 billionth tweet.

The question Friday morning? Who was it and what did they say?

Unfortunately for the curious masses, it appears that the landmark tweet was posted by someone who has set their feed to be private by default.

A search for tweet No. 10 billion – individual posts on the site are identified by a number – yields a message saying that page is unavailable.

It was unclear whether Twitter was pursuing the user to see if they’d like to go public. The site’s spokespeople were notably quiet – with no mention of the milestone on their official Twitter feed and no new posts on their blog.

The two nearest misses, however, were public and show the range of ways the micro-blogging site is used.

Tweet number 9,999,999,999 was by a user with the handle @lelamarques, who posted a link to a gallery of “urban decay” photographs – a genre that celebrates the hidden beauty of abandoned buildings.

The user lists her address as Sao Luis, Brazil, and most of her posts are in Portugese – a nod to Twitter’s increasing international popularity.

Twitter has been lauded as a game-changing tool during such internationally notable events as the Iranian election protests and post-earthquake fundraising in Haiti.

But tweet Number 10,000,000,001 likely won’t impress those who consider it a hotbed of meaningless chatter.

In a feed from a woman who says she lives in Bronx, New York, the tweet read simply, “$Pretty N Paid$.”

Her feed is filled with profanity and misspelled words, often written in all caps – considered poor form by many Internet users. [NOTE: Since Friday morning, that user has switched her feed to private].

Interest in the milestone was high on the micro-blogging site, which has seen astronomical growth since it started in 2007. Thursday evening, the site for GigaTweet, an app that tracks the number of Twitter posts in real time, was down – presumably from overuse.

While the total number of Twitter users appeared to flatline several months ago, the sites activity levels has continued to spiral upward.

Twitter saw its 1 billionth tweet about a year ago and hit 5 billion tweets about four months ago.

According to a Wednesday night e-mail from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, the number of Twitter accounts has grown 1,500 percent in the past year.

The company’s low-key response to the much-anticipated tweet, at least in the first several hours that followed, is in stark contrast to how Apple greeted a similar milestone recently.

When the company’s online store sold its 10 billionth download, the lucky customer got a $10,000 Apple gift card and a personal phone call from Steve Jobs.

Roseanne Cash, the daughter of the music legend whose song was purchased, also was on the call to thank Woodstock, Georgia's, Louis Sulcer for buying one of her dad’s songs.

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Aashish   March 5th, 2010 3:12 pm ET

Who the "tweeting" cares?

Avrailer   March 5th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

Why are so many companies attempting to compete with myspace??? STOP BEING JOCKERS!!!

Drew   March 5th, 2010 6:09 pm ET

So, the two nearest misses were 999,999,999 and 10,000,000,001?
How exactly is 999,999,999 (1 billion minus one) considered a near miss of 10 billion? Seems to me there are 9 billion tweets missing.

Yaronn Libne   March 5th, 2010 8:04 pm ET

As of now, people are confused about what everything really means. In the future they will understand many services are the same, and it will all collapse to something like Google Wave. It will be easier to decide when to publish a public message/post and when to send/publish one destined at specific people.

Twittersucks   March 5th, 2010 8:11 pm ET


butter monger   March 5th, 2010 11:13 pm ET

To buy a song on iTunes requires money. To tweet is free. Thus Twitter could reach their goal much easier, meaning Apple's was more impressive

gnc   March 6th, 2010 1:53 am ET

perfect!! looks like a hooker had the 10 billionth tweet...

Ethics   March 6th, 2010 3:16 am ET

Did @Avrailer REALLY just compare myspace to twitter? REALLY?! I'm guessing it's another 10 year old junior high freak(:

Mike   March 6th, 2010 7:31 am ET

A posting on twitter is called a "twit", same as the users of the service.

A tweet is what Elmer Fudd gives his dog when he's been good.

rhiana   March 6th, 2010 9:58 am ET

If you seperate the wheat from the chaff, the usefull content of all those tweets will fill up a 10-page Word document.

Justin   March 6th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

10,000,000,000 things about random peoples lives that I could care less about.

darkangelx   March 6th, 2010 4:13 pm ET

Much like the whole tiger woods story. No one cares.

Dan   March 6th, 2010 4:39 pm ET

Drew what are you talking about? The only person who has the numbers wrong is you. The article states:

"Tweet number 9,999,999,999 was by a user with the handle @lelamarques"


" tweet Number 10,000,000,001 likely won’t impres.."

What is with people coming onto CNN and looking for anything to complain about. Take time to read the article and if you are going to make a comment, at least show that you used some thought.

Guest   March 6th, 2010 7:02 pm ET

10 billion. If we charge a one dollar tax on each tweet, just think how quickly we could reduce our national debt.

OhPlease   March 6th, 2010 10:52 pm ET

10 billionth tweet = THE BIGGEST LOSER

Kristi   March 7th, 2010 12:32 am ET

It seems that Drew had misread the did say 9,999,999,999 being a near miss to 10 billion. I think it's great that Apple gave a special award to the 10 billionth person to use their service. It just shows they're paying attention and that they care.

Brad Smots   March 7th, 2010 5:36 am ET

I think Apple sold a Billion downloads, not 10 billion. Fact check, please.

TinyTheWicked   March 7th, 2010 6:24 am ET

Drew- Why so critical of a typo, we all no CNN isn't exactly known for there ability to edit these things

marky   March 7th, 2010 6:46 am ET


Well the whole number problem comes from you being retarded and not able to read.

Radu   March 7th, 2010 7:49 am ET

What a worthless read, how did I end up on this page. Twitter, yay a company that makes no money announces a milestone no one gives a hoot about.

Murray   March 7th, 2010 8:00 am ET

I dont like tweeter and either do i care for this news. Someone needs to fine something to report the news on.

Troy   March 7th, 2010 8:02 am ET

You are truely retarted. Go find your life if you ever had one.

BTW.. reread the numbers dumby.......

Kris   March 7th, 2010 9:01 am ET

I'll put money down its something epic. Like "NO UR GAY"


noea   March 7th, 2010 2:51 pm ET

Mr. drew i think there are seven "9"s in the article of 9,999,999,999 tweets... please buy a pair of quality eyeglasses... you can find one at walmart for cheaper prices.

wes   March 7th, 2010 2:54 pm ET

This is my 10000 letter on comments section..yayyyy!!!!

Bill   March 7th, 2010 4:40 pm ET

10 billion might mean something if so many twits hadn't tweeted just to be doing it.

Pete4   March 7th, 2010 4:43 pm ET

Unless every single Twitter user's message runs through a single processor (which would be supremely inefficient), how can they even put all the tweets ever made in order? There's no such thing as the "Nth tweet" once anything is done in parallel.

mrego   March 7th, 2010 6:38 pm ET

It was probably Ashton Kutcher. He's sent most of the 10 billion of them.

MactheGeek   March 7th, 2010 6:49 pm ET

Tweeting = 24/7/365/6 Motor mouthing. Jeez, the Crackberry is already
enough to drive you around the twist. Pardon for ommitting the iPhone here – it will no doubt hurt the feelings of some "reality distortion field" fans. 😉

jdub   March 7th, 2010 8:54 pm ET

This is a joke....people should take less time "tweeting" about their "tweeting" life and actually enjoy real time with family and friends ... Oh what in the hay did people do back in the day without all of this technology..... ??? Lay off of the technicals and just enjoy real time with people.......who gives a tweet

At Drew   March 7th, 2010 8:57 pm ET

Drew you must be horribly mistaken. It says 9,999,999,999. You missed a 9. That might help.

Bud   March 8th, 2010 12:30 am ET

Drew, you need to check the article again. The near miss was
9,999,999,999. Which actually is TEN BILLION MINUS ONE. Pay attention (or learn to count) next time before you blab about something like that and end up looking like an idiot.

greenteagod   March 8th, 2010 12:37 am ET

Yeah stop being JOCKERS! Leave the Jocks alone!

the truth   March 8th, 2010 1:49 am ET

go to hell. its glorified text messaging.

john Sonpull, Camden, NJ   March 8th, 2010 1:51 am ET

i bet “$Pretty N Paid$.” is either a stripper or a hooker.

Jen   March 8th, 2010 4:22 am ET

Drew, do you know how to read?? Take another look at the article. DA!

Ashar   March 8th, 2010 8:18 am ET

@Drew: There are ten 9's. That makes 9,999,999,999 equal to 10 billion minus one.

Doug Shiloh   March 8th, 2010 9:42 am ET

Jazzman   March 8th, 2010 9:46 am ET

Who gave CNN the right to judge... I thought major media outlets were supposed to be neutral and unbiased. Clearly CNN has deemed the person who posted tweet 10 Bil & 1 "meaningless", but hell, who's to say my tweets aren't meaningless. Why the hell can’t I talk in slang or use shorthand in my tweets, it’s not school, its not be graded, and tweets are limited to 140 characters!!!

"But tweet Number 10,000,000,001 likely won’t impress those who consider it a hotbed of meaningless chatter."

CNN, you need to reevaluate your biasness as major journalist and stop dictating how others should use the interwebs… you use the interwebs to post your biased journalism, and the rest of us will use it to post meaningless tweets!!!

Mad Doc   March 8th, 2010 9:47 am ET

Is this tweeting info newsworthy? is there gonna be a race to find out who is the dicazillionth person to tweet? What about 100 gigathpbbbbillionth person who tweet, perhaps it would an alien from outta space. As Aashish says, who the "tweeting" cares! Give us something newsworthy.

Raven   March 8th, 2010 10:11 am ET

How unusual that there is no "share via Twitter" link on this story.

Bill   March 8th, 2010 10:28 am ET

I think somone fixxed that part

John   March 8th, 2010 11:49 am ET

WHy is twitter even a website? Two million people i nthe world use it who really cares what goes on on there? Better headlines would read something like: "Target sells their 50 billionth item, what was it??"

Essay, full text   April 27th, 2010 5:01 pm ET

[...] Gross, Doug. (2010, March 5). “Twitter's mysterious 10 billionth tweet.” CNN SciTechBlog. Retrieved April 24, 2010, from [...]

17 Things You Didn’t Know About Twitter - AllTwitter   December 22nd, 2010 11:07 am ET

[...] 10,000,000,000th tweet (tweeted in March of 2010) was private, so we'll never know what it [...]

Tamala Tonas   April 15th, 2017 1:54 pm ET

That is the awesome wonderful search engine in the world

Gerry Orts   April 19th, 2017 4:38 am ET

Excellent write-up. I certainly love this site . Stick with it!

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